These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Glass walls


Many years ago my son said that he was going to design a house of total glass when he was older. It sounded like a fascinating project. He was excited about creating it.
Recently I was thinking about hidden behaviour and this idea came back to my mind. I wondered if we would behave any differently in our homes if different rooms of our homes had their walls turned to glass for an hour a day. Would we just avoid those rooms at those times or act as if we were in Big Brother?

The concept took root in my mind and I further considered how people would change if the time of the glass walls was random.
When people observe us we are changed by the observation.
If that change were always positive, then I’d put forward a proposal to the government to instigate glass walls in every home.
I know – it’ll never happen. It couldn’t really. But just the thought that someone was watching and prepared to speak up against things like domestic violence and other forms of abuse that are usually perpetrated behind solid walls and closed doors makes me wish for it to be possible. Just for an hour.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Flood barriers



When your heart has been flooded with emotion and you really can’t take any more there is a tendency to hastily erect barriers against the deluge. The only problem here is that these temporary structures may soon become permanent fixtures in your emotional landscape.

How do I know? This has happened to me.

I did it to myself. I knew that I did it, but I forgot about them as time went by because I got used to them; they felt comfortable.

I guess it’s because of my experience in building my own barriers that I went into the bridge building industry. Now, I have tried building bridges. I have even destroyed some bridges. But the barriers around my own heart now have weeds entwining the decaying links.

There is a secret gate that I use every now and then to venture out into the world, but I have found myself scurrying back to the safety of my space. When people approach me I sometimes pretend that I’m not in, or that I don’t see them. This approach makes them give up and go away. I didn’t want anyone to have too easy access to me. When I did that before it really hurt.

However, I have called in the contractors and the barriers are coming down.

It may be a long job as the foundations have become entangled with the weeds, but it will get done.

... I see daylight.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Gluttony



Note to self: eating a whole packet of delicious biscuits in one day ALWAYS leads to pain in many of the days that follow.

Don’t be foolish.

Make wiser choices.

A little is good but a lot is poisonous to me. Remember that TRUE fact next time you reach for a packet of scrumptious Swedish Ginger Thins – even if they are Anna’s!

Chasing the dragon

© MHM Sept 2005 Mount Rainier, Washington, USA


Where do you go when you get to the top of a mountain? You always come back down. Fact.

Every high is followed by a descent. As soon as you peak you are faced with a decline: you’re on your way back down.

What does that mean for my life? Does that mean I have to ‘settle’ for second best? No! Most definitely not. But to me it does mean that I have to have a touch of realism in my pursuits. I will continue to reach for my dreams and achieve more miracles as I progress, however, I have chosen to remember that some things can cause more damage than happiness.

Being exceptional is wonderful. But chasing dragons all your life is not recommended. There is no life insurance available and the benefits are, at best, fleetingly temporary. Mediocrity is not appealing at first – especially in some things, but it has a lot going for it: best of all, a better quality and maybe, longer, life. With more time and life I get to pursue more dreams and spend time with those who matter most to me. That’s my perfection. That is my dream.

If I constantly chase the dragon I know that I may never catch it, but it may get me.

What I have also learnt is that dragons usually bite – fatally.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Proof?



Head.

Banging against a brick wall.

Sometimes with some people, it seems like this is all I am doing. To me it gets a bit pointless – and very painful!

They (you know, the invisible crowd that is them) say that my reality cannot be true.

They say that there is no proof for what I assert to be true.

You want proof?

I’m the proof! See me.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Love Map



Watching a programme about criminal activity I was struck, not by the hatred and violence that appeared to be the central focus, but by a phrase about the establishment of an individual map that dictates how different people give and receive love. It was suggested that this is fixed in each of us by the age of seven.

So, as is my wont, I started thinking about my own love map to see if this theory could be proven in my own experience. Most social scientists use themselves as subjects for their theories and experiments – it’s normal behaviour I think, but I’ll have to test it with a group of them ... another time.

Anyway, back to my love map. I was curious to see if who I have chosen to love was predetermined by the age of 7. I know that I fell (and remained) in love with someone I met at primary school. No, it wasn’t just a childhood crush; it was proper love that was always hidden because I didn’t know how to best express it. I went through all the pain of being close to them as they shared their partners and exploits with me as we progressed through junior and senior school. We were always close. That first love is really defining. I’m beginning to believe in this love map stuff after all.

But the theory also states that your parents (and others close to you) have a lot to do with how you, as a child, perceive and define the route your own love will take. This was my next area of investigation: it was not without some trauma, but I was prepared for that and I weathered the storm back into that part of my memory.

The conclusions that I came ashore with were very revealing. I had taken the best from my early situation and I had unreservedly rejected the worst – as you do.

So, after all that theory. Am I justified to either blame or thank my parents for my love map? They may have had a vital input however I am the one who made the pattern for my ideal partner. For that I’m happy.

I mean, how could you not be happy to love?

I love that I love the people I do, isn’t that sufficient?

This then is my love map ...


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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Moments like these ...

There are rare occasions when I am not at my best and the smallest thing can make me drop the veil of sadness over my face.

It may be a careless word or a deliberate action directed at me, no matter what the motive or the person when it reaches me I am hurt. And my initial reaction is to protect myself from further harm. My way of doing this is to shut down.

When I shut down I usually stop communication – in any way at all. Silence.

This is an unusual state for me but it does occur.

A brief outline of the situation may give you an idea of how I felt and what I did.

Clothes have never been a major interest to me – this was especially true when I was several sizes larger than I am now. This was mainly because my large build seemed to be a constant source of mirth to some people. They never saw how much pain it caused me. I hated shopping for clothes and always avoided it until the last possible moment. However, I thought it was more or less all behind me but I was mistaken.

The wounds of those words were temporarily opened by some fresh comment (disguised as a joke) about just how huge I was then (not my choice of words). I was surprised by the fact that it affected me instantly. I closed down.

This was not a practical reaction for several reasons, but pain does not always wait until you are in a comfortable environment to settle into your bones.

I felt my face drop the laughter like a mountain avalanche.

That’s when the change occurred. I wanted to, in the true Greta Garbo sense, ‘be let alone’. So I excused myself and tried to achieve the space to repair my pain.




This is when my son spotted a change in me and gave me a fierce hug. As much as I love him and his hugs I really wanted to be apart from everybody right then. But he looked into my face and said, “You’ve got to have some happy moments before you go.” And he wouldn’t let me go until I really smiled. By then I didn’t need to be alone any more.

Thankfully my life is full of happy moments like these.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Ruined!




That was the first word out of my mouth as I opened the washing machine door.

I have recently been following new fabric care instructions and I seem to have managed OK with them. This washload, however, was not as I’d expected it.

I’ve been through them all. You know, the tissue in the pocket wash that leads to hours of defluffing clothes, the stray coloured sock that results in a new shade to all your favourite special care items. Yes, I’ve had my wash day disasters like the rest of folk.

I have recently taken to reminding my son to empty all his pockets before he puts the clothes in the wash basket (socks never seem to find their way there – I’m always discovering them secreted in corners around his room and the house), and he has been surprisingly adept at following this simple request. So I can no longer blame the clothing disasters on him.

This one was definitely all me.

I knew something was missing for a day or so but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The minute I opened the washing machine door I had my unwanted answer.

There was my watch.

It just lay in the rubber by the door and it even had the audacity not to look clean; there were dark marks all along the strap and the hands on the face were obscured by ... well, water.

So I just exclaimed that single word that summed up my stupidity for not checking my trousers pocket, “Ruined!”

Then I was surprised as I looked past the blurred glass and saw that the second hand was moving steadily around the circle. A double-check later and I realised that it was still working and was telling the correct time!

It has not all turned out roses but the bent bracelet sections can be straightened again and, maybe, the water will evaporate from the face but even now my watch is keeping perfect ‘clean’ time.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sleeping love



Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. Then I realised that it’s more than luck, I’m living my blessings.

I have a beautiful child (inside and out) that looks at me with love and wants to spend time with me. That’s like winning the jackpot ... everyday!

Before I started washing up the dishes the other evening, I said that Morgan could read in bed until I got there to say goodnight or just go straight to sleep. She had a different suggestion: she wanted to lay on the ground in the kitchen doorway so that she could stay near me while I washed the dishes because “I like being near you.”

Little words of love like that make my heart melt over and over again.

She fell asleep right there on the floor and I covered her up with a candlewick bedspread that used to belong to my mother. Love may sleep but it never ends.

I am blessed.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Conform or ...?

It is the final week of term and some time ago Morgan’s class had decided that they would all wear the same t-shirts and have the same hair style for their sports day this week. When I say the class had decided what I really mean is that some of the more vocal ones had made the decision and the rest had agreed to go along with it.
You know, in the name of team spirit and all that.

Unfortunately for them Morgan did not like either choice and said she didn’t want to buy one of the t-shirts to wear – even if it did have the class name printed on it.

Her fellow students were not amused. They insisted that she conform.

This was not a teacher led directive, this was peer pressure. And we all know what happens when you don’t succumb to peer pressure, don’t we?

Towards the end of last week there was a delegation of people constantly badgering Morgan to get a t-shirt but still she refused. She said she didn’t want to wear a skin-tight purple, short-sleeved v-neck top as she would be uncomfortable in it. As for the discussion about the hair style, she said she didn’t even answer them anymore.



It all came to a head on Monday morning when another girl told Morgan that she’d got her own mum to pay for the top so that Morgan could wear it; it was handed over and Morgan reluctantly accepted it and paid for the additional name printing.

When she came home she tried it on and showed it to me. “Ugh!” she said as she ripped it off and threw it on her bed. “I’m not wearing it. It doesn’t suit me; I’d never wear that anywhere. You can have it; I’ll say it’s yours now so that it doesn’t belong to me.”

On the morning of sports day she dressed in her normal school P.E. kit and got ready to set off. I asked her where the other top was.

“Why did you remind me?” she grimaced. “I wanted to say I forgot it.”

“Sorry,” I mumbled, “I thought you’d paid for it so were going to wear it now.”

“No!” came the firm reply. “I’m not wearing it.”

“What about the class pictures for prize giving and all that? Wouldn’t it be nice if you all looked the same? You know, wearing the same top and that?” I asked.

“Why do we all have to look the same anyway? We’re all different.” She paused for a response. I had nothing to add right then.

So she continued. “I mean, look at our faces. None of us look the same! What’ll they want next? Us to all wear masks so we look the same?” She unceremoniously stuffed the hated t-shirt into her kit bag and we left for the bus stop.

At the end of the day I cautiously asked her how it all went. Happily she spilled information about all the activities and their final placing in the overall events; they had done extremely well as a class and Morgan had achieved brilliant results on an individual level. I smiled contentedly as she was obviously happy.

Sensing that it was a good time I tentatively asked about the t-shirt wearing.

“Oh,” she replied breezily, “I didn’t wear it.” I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad at this point so I decided to withhold further reactions until I heard more.

“How did that go down with the rest of the class?” I asked.

“It’s alright,” she replied. C said that she’d have it back since her mum paid for it and that she’d give me back the money I spent on the printing.”

“So,” I continued feeling a surge of joy rising, “they didn’t give you a hard time then?”

“No, nobody seemed to care really. They knew it wasn’t my type of clothes anyway.

They said they know what I’m like so they just left me alone.”

There are many ways to deal with pressure. You can wither conform or ... not, thus giving you the opportunity to gain respect for your individuality. This is Morgan’s way.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

No wet lying permitted

I think I’ve seen it all now. Washing instructions have gone crazy – or maybe I have.
I found these care directions inside a pair of Morgan’s Nike basketball shorts:




So, I positioned myself at the washing machine as the final rinse cycle was ending and as soon as the door released I threw back the porthole and rescued the shorts from lying on themselves in the washing machine drum. They just lay there, mocking me as they were entwined with other equally damp clothing. They had no shame! They didn’t even cast me a second glance as I gently removed them to an upright position so that they could breathe easily and regain their dry condition.

Not!

This is going to be a difficult sport clothing care cycle – I can feel it in my waters.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Unbidden tears

In the grand scheme of things I have so many things to feel happy about – and I do, however, right now, in this moment I feel incredibly sad.

It’s the little things that trigger it.

If I were to recount them you may shake your head in disbelief or even laugh at my attention to seemingly futile things. But, in this minute, they are not minor.

I’ll share two of my recent triggers to sadness. I was sharing a neighbour’s birthday celebrations and she has been the most wonderful and kind woman to my son and I over the years, then I found myself in floods of tears (much as I am while I am writing this). Mrs H is now 83 years old. She reminds me of the quiet but strong matriarch of an Italian dynasty. She lives alone across the street from me, well that is the theory – her children, grandchildren and hordes of relatives are constantly visiting, staying over and looking after her.

Well, this woman, with a multitude of her own family has taken a shine to my son, and every birthday (they share the same week) there is an exchange of gifts. Also, when Mrs H goes on her family holidays around the world she always brings a special present back for Morgan. She is so kind and lovely.

I have thanked her endlessly for her thoughtfulness and generosity. As the head of such a large, also generous, family I realised she has everything she could possibly need – she has repeatedly told me this as well. So I decided to write her a letter instead of just signing the usual birthday card with a few platitudes.

This is when I first started crying uncontrollably.

I wasn’t writing anything sad, on the contrary I was remembering her kindness over the past decade and more. I managed to prevent the tears splashing on the paper and smudging the ink but I still had red eyes when I went to deliver it with her box of chocolates (her one indulgence).

Writing that letter took me way beyond this street and Mrs H’s kindness. That’s why I cried.

Then later on in the same day there was a minor accident. There was no bloodshed or bones broken. What happened was a key ring got trapped in the door and smashed my heather fob. It’s true, nobody died. I’ve just had it as a treasured gift for these past four years and I was used to it, it meant a lot to me. It’s just Scottish heather and there’s plenty more where it came from but it still made me a little sad.



So there you have it. Writing letters and missing Scottish mementos can make me cry. Who’d have thought?!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Thunderbolts



When you least expect it a thunderbolt can knock you off balance. I am a fairly even tempered person and, although I spend a fair amount of time in reflection, I didn’t understand what was unsettling me until I was casually talking to a friend the other evening. As we easily conversed I mentioned a passing incident that had occurred days ago and then ... thunderbolt! I realised that it had affected me more that I had initially thought.

When I saw someone I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years I was a little unnerved. For about an hour I was doing things out of coordination and making bizarre decisions. So, I abandoned my plans outside of the home and returned to the safe confines of my comfort zone.

Then I forgot about it. Or so I thought.

But, alas, this non-meeting was not done with wrangling with my emotions just yet. After several days of being too busy to think about it (you know the busyness that you make yourself engage in to stop yourself thinking about real things) I happened upon the real reason for my unsettled demeanour in this peaceful conversation.

Then I acknowledged that seeing my ex had distressed me.

I am not one to hold a grudge but I guess I have to deal with the fact that I have one being held against me. This woman refuses to talk to me or even look at me or my child. On the one occasion we have been within spitting distance she has walked right past us as if we were invisible despite my attempts to smile and be pleasant.

So, when I saw her the other day that knot of anguish built up in my stomach before I had a chance to think. Then I gave control over to the adrenalin and existed in this suspended state for many hours.

The bizarre facts are that all of her family still have contact with me, despite our own non-communication (her choice). Immediately after seeing her I saw her father who has just arrived from overseas for a visit. You can’t fake the joy in the eyes, the smile and the hugs that we shared – it was a surprise to see him and that was like salve to the previous wound of seeing his child and being pointedly ignored.

Each to their own, I think. Somehow we have to learn to live with other people’s choices – they are evidently doing the best for themselves, and that must be a good thing.

Now that I have recognised where and when the thunderbolt arrived in my life I can clear up the collateral damage that I have been experiencing and be ready for the next time ... maybe.

But, as you know thunderbolts don’t come with warnings.

Friday, 15 July 2011

What’s the key?



With my (increasingly) bizarre thought processes I have recently fixed upon keys. There are reasons behind every lingering thought and, well, that’s the key to the whole picture ... if you get my drift.

I have two main sets of keys: one for when I leave the house and I’m walking and the other for when I am driving. On each set of keys there are the bare essentials for access, and a key chain. Both of these sets bear memories from a past time.

When I use them – each day – I am subconsciously touching my memories. And it always gives me great pleasure.

My physical keys open the doors to my home and my car but the other keys – well, they have access to my heart.

I’m the only one who knows the full combination to this particular lock but, as with all locked down areas (and lockets), there is always another way to open the portcullis.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Be honest with me



Have you ever heard this phrase? Have you ever said it yourself?

It seems to me that people are more dishonest than honest in their dealings with each other when it appears something like a relationship or a friendship is at stake. But that in itself should sound warning bells. What sound relationship was built on lies?

What’s that you say? Most of them?

The phrase “What you don’t know won’t hurt you,” comes to mind as the excuses to justify deception are played out.

Let me think what I mean when I’ve said this phrase to people. I mean I want their opinion, but I still want them to be gentle in the delivery of their words, and maybe, just maybe, I want them to withhold any portion of the truth that may really hurt me.

So, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t really want people to be honest with me when I say, “Be honest with me?” Do I?

Be honest with me ...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I see old people ...


I see old people.

They’re everywhere!

On the street, in the park, in the shops, in the post office. Everywhere I seem to go I see old people.

And they have this unnerving habit of looking at me. Then they smile (maybe I smile first, not sure which way it goes, but smiles are shared), after which these venerable old folk stop and talk to me. For a long time.

I think they have a plot (bit like on Dr Who) they're not just innocent harmless folk making their way along minding their own business. They are all up to something. They are linked by this mastermind plot and I want to get to the bottom of it.

When they are talking to me I can sense that they are inputting information into me. I’m sure that they are like cyborgs extracting data at the same time, but they are so clever at it, it is almost imperceptible. They call it ‘talking’ and sharing wisdom, I think of it more as global plan to do something vaguely sinister, something that I have uncovered with the code name ‘S.H.A.R.I.N.G-T.I.M.E’.

This is a warning to be wary because I understand that there are old people spreading across all nations doing the same thing as they are doing here to me.

Be very careful when you meet one of them, you may just give a hint of a smile and then you are caught in their trap. Before you know it you have learnt something that you didn’t plan to learn and it’s stuck with you forever.

If their plan works you will be transformed into one of them and start doing the same thing to innocent younger people that you meet on the streets.

Their methods are so effective that just today I found myself thinking the following thought ... “I love seeing old people. More please.”

You have been warned!

Smile at your peril.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Words

Words

Words have so many different uses.

Words are medication – that can heal.

Words from friends are especially helpful when you usually walk alone.

Words can be swords – that kill.

Words can be used to cover up the vulnerability that we feel. Sarcasm.

Words are one sure way to reach the heart.

Words.

WordsWords

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Beliefs are fixed

Well that’s a contentious statement if ever there was one. If beliefs are fixed then as soon as we accept one set of beliefs we might as well close ourselves off from the rest of the world – I mean, from all those people who hold separate and different beliefs.

It is easy for me to scoff at the initial statement but I was wondering the other day about how I handle my beliefs in reality. I acquired a set of beliefs from my parents. Then I obtained some more from the school system and friends. After that I continued to layer beliefs into my life as I went through work and further educational environments. Alongside all these beliefs I was constantly having my initial beliefs reinforced by my family.

Then I realised that if I never questioned any set of beliefs I was not going to improve my understanding of the world, of my world and especially my place in the world.

So I questioned my beliefs. It is a healthy thing to do, trust me: that’s what I believe anyway ... but it’s up to you to question it and see for yourself.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Ring, ring

I don’t talk about my dad a great deal. This is for many reasons. The primary one used to be because I held a lot of unresolved resentment towards him, but that has passed now.

It is strange because I have spent many years thinking about family and family histories and this has meant that I found out more about my father. And it meant I remembered more things as well, the further I went back the more I saw him in a different light.

Sometimes a single event can cloud our perception and memory of everything that has passed. It was this way with me for far too long.

There were times when my younger sister and I would check the clock and know that Daddy was coming home. Then we would rush to the bottom of the road and meet him as he got off the works bus. As we danced around him he would pull out a treat for us from his duffle bag. That was when I first loved Wagon Wheels. If there was just one then we’d wait until we got home to divide it up equally between whoever was there, but if there was a whole pack (or two) we would eagerly take small bites as we walked back up the road hanging on to his arms.



The sound of the Blakey's on his heels gave a steady comforting ring on the pavements as we reached our gate and went inside. There we would search his bag for anything else that he had brought home for us. We even savoured the crunchy peanut butter sandwich he saved for us – everything tasted good from him.



Many years later, when he retired and lived alone, he used to bake some strange concoctions that made me nervous when I saw what he had used. But they always tasted fantastic and I’d go back for more.

He was an amazing man who did his best. Some things I never understood – and still don’t – but I do know that I’ve started to miss him more and more.

Just the other day I was sat thinking about him and it passed through my mind that I used to get so many calls from him; we used to speak a lot on the phone. I imagined that he could just give me a call so that I’d hear his voice again. This is particularly strange for me as I used to get a bit tetchy when he did call me - and he always did because I would always go and see him when he called. The ring of the phone that signalled annoyance at one time is now empty but I would welcome that ring, ring tone from him right now.

Friday, 8 July 2011

It's magical

You can teach people most things like how to drive a car, paint a house, build a wall or ride a bike. But some things come to us without us being formally taught how to do them. We just know. It could be that we learnt to walk but trying it out on our own, or create unique art by doodling with a pencil.

Earlier, my son Morgan, asked me a question. He said, “How do you love?” And it really made me think about where and when the feeling of love starts. How exactly do we know that we love someone? For adults we experience a romantic love that invariably involves some form of attraction.

We don’t decide who we are attracted to, we just know that looking at that person makes our heart beat a little faster or (at least in the initial stages of contact) brings on a desire to look away yet look at the object of your desire and there is a permanent smile fixed on your face when you think about them or look at them; those are some of the signs that an attraction has taken root in your heart.

You definitely cannot teach a person how to love but you can help them to show their love in acts of kindness and consideration for others. Love is not something that can be forced or moulded to fit anyone – it just happens. And all this occurs without being trained to do it.

Love is the best magic trick I’ve ever experienced. I can’t figure out how it’s done, but I do believe it – with all my heart.

Disguised blessing?




I am pretty much self-sufficient in most household tasks. I have a tool box and I know how to use it! The same can be said for most minor jobs on my car, like oil, water, tyre pressures and even changing a wheel – I can do them all when I really have to, so I do.

At home I have even taken to washing my windows myself. I know! Radical move. Well, it is a bit as for over a decade the window cleaner would rock up once a month and squirt, squeeze and shine the glass at the front of the house. Then, in keeping with the age old tradition, I would cross his palm with several gold coins.

A few years ago I decided to do them myself and it’s all worked out well. I still have clean windows and more gold in my pockets – all around success I think. Then, this week, I looked out of the window and saw Ian (my regular window cleaning professional) with a new fangled machine and high pressure nozzles and the like.

I watched him doing a neighbours window and suddenly I was overcome with the impulse to treat myself (my windows) with this “new, improved service”. Dashing out of the house I interrupted his work across the road. He was more than pleased to take business from me again and we quickly slipped back into that familiar routine of transferring gold coins between us, sharing a nervous smile and (me) retreating into the house while he earned his daily bread.

When Ian eventually got to my house I skulked in the furthest part of room, away from the windows, while I watched his magical high pressured hose do its job. Water on, soap on, water off. This routine was repeated through every pane of glass and I smiled as the rivulets formed at the top of the glass and then rushed like a downhill skier towards the ground.

The sun seemd to appear brighter behind the professionally cleaned glass. “Money well spent,” I thought as I moved closer to the now sparkling windows he had left behind.

Beautiful scene. But then ... (cue dramatic music) I noticed water inside the closed windows. And it wasn’t just condensation; this was a pool of dirty brown water. And it was dripping down the inside of the glass and forming a pool on my recently painted white windowsills. “This is not good,” I thought as I rushed forwards.

As I cleared it up I was tempted to go outside and ask Ian why he was using dirty recycled water to clean my windows but I didn’t. Instead I decided to focus on the situation in front of me. The water had come through closed windows. Ergo there was a gap that normal washing had not discovered.

I stood with a puzzled look on my face then I moved closer to the windows and examined the seal around them. Ah ha! It was broken.

That extra high pressured nozzle had forced the water through the gaps in the seal. I don’t think I would have noticed the breach otherwise. After cleaning up the water and drying the inside of the windows I called a friend to ask for help.

You see, I a pretty self-sufficient but my skills don’t extend to resealing double glazing window units (not yet, anyway).

When I approached Ian as a means of saving myself some effort that day, little did I realise that his actions and the consequences would prove to be a blessing in disguise. Although we are supposedly in the middle of our summer season we have been frequently subjected to rainstorms and I now know that it is better for me to have discovered this breach in the window now than in the midst of winter. So, with that in mind I express my gratitude.

I think that I, like most people, would prefer a blessing to appear as a blessing and nothing else. Alas, that is not always the way it works. Nevertheless however it comes, I think I’ll take it! Even if it is initially disguised as a problem.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Lines of history

There are lines

in my heart

that trace my history

with you.

Nobody but me knows

they are there.

I alone touch them

and

feel where our stories

met and became one.

© MHMorgan 2011

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Positions please




If your life were a stage play and you were responsible for deciding which role each character in your life played, how would you cast them?

Is there a hero present? How about a damsel in distress? There is usually a protagonist - not far from the central action either - who will that be?

A person who holds a love interest will be skirting around the scenes somewhere, as will people without morals, complainers and those who like to be offensive.

Chatty friends are usually close at hand, mirrored by insincere people. And of course there are always those folk who are suspicious of everyone – you may even have the company of more than one of these in your life play. In the corner of your stage lurks the cowardly friend, they cannot venture to the centre of the stage because they are even afraid of their own thin shadows.

We mustn’t forget those people who are jealous of everything you achieve, or those who are only happy when they are controlling people and things around them. There are also trusted confidants, counsellors and those who are humble, honest, wise and brave.

Patient friends sit without a frown awaiting their time to be brave in your behalf: they don’t understand betrayal.

When all is said and done you have the choice about where to locate everyone for your own comfort and the smooth flow of the play.

What role will you choose to play yourself?

What role is a match for those around you today?

“Is this how you want the play to proceed?” The words are whispered into your ear through the headset – you realise you are the stage manager as well as an actor so you have to decide ... now.”

It’s time for curtains up! Positions please ...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Just being ...


I remember visiting someone in hospital after he was involved in an accident. It was a traumatic time for all involved – especially him. He was rushed into the hospital via the emergency ambulance service and after hours in the operating theatre he was in ICU for several weeks.

Once when I visited him – when he was not deeply sedated for the intense pain – after several hours by his bedside, he briefly opened his eye and looked at me. Something resembling his previous smile formed on his face and he said two things to me: “Your voice is like a cool breeze in a storm,” and “I love you like a farmer loves a red sky”. Then, satisfied that he had shared his thoughts with me, he slipped back into his sleep.

I didn’t know that he had been aware that I was even there, chatting nonsense (so it seemed) to him, but it obviously got through and he appreciated it.

When he was finishing his recuperation at home he let me know that he was always aware of my presence at his bedside and how much comfort it brought him.

It just reminds me that sometimes we just have to keep being ourselves and doing the best we can even when we are not sure that others are even aware of our being.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Passport control



The copies of the birth certificates arrived this morning – they were delivered in record time (and I didn’t even pay for the express service). I was excited to see the new certificates but my joy was dampened when I showed them to Morgan later in the evening.

“But they don’t have my name Morgan on it as my first name. Can you change it again?”

“I can, but that will take some time and you need your new passport for the trip so we’ll have to go with this one for now.”

“OK.” She was obviously not happy but decided to accept it any way.

“Are you sure you want to change it officially?”

“Yes!”

“Well, people do that all the time I guess, by deed poll.”

“See, I knew you could change it.”

As we were walking along the road she gave me some ideas that she had for the future generations.

“I think,” She started, “that all children should have the chance to change their names when they’re about 10 years old because, wait ..., because then may not have the name that they like and then they can change it to something they like. Because when they are born they don’t have a choice, do they? So it’s only fair. Don’t you think?”

“Sounds like a good idea to me. So do you think it should be made a law or something?”

“Yeah, it should! And then we can change our names automatically – if we want to. Some people in my class don’t want to change their names, but loads of them have thought about it like me.”

“Sound like there is a real need for that then.”

I paused a second and then, thinking about the travel issues, I added, “The only problem is that if you keep changing your name then you’ll have to keep changing your passport and stuff. Lots of forms and things to fill out.”

“Somebody else can do that for me,” Morgan said with a smile.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Words. No words.


What do you say when you get a card from your child as they goes to bed that says “No. 1 Mummy, I love you.”
No words can suffice, but a huge smile, a hug and a whisper of thanks may help to convey the feeling of joy.
Then when you turn the small card over in your hands you see more words written - “Not said for advertising purposes, comes from the heart ...”
No words. Again. No words can match those words and thoughts.
For me right then there was just an overwhelming feeling that something is very right in this world and words alone cannot express it.
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